#TheList Farhad Khalil Ahmed of Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 – carried out illegal slaughter of a male sheep
Ahmed, owner of Lydney Hand Car Wash, Newerne Street, Lydney GL15 5RF, was convicted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 with causing unnecessary suffering to a ram.
Ahmed admitted to being filmed cutting a ram’s throat as an accomplice helped him restrain the animal. The video, originally obtained by Caerphilly Trading Standards officers in an unrelated investigation, was passed to Gloucestershire Trading Standards who interviewed Ahmed for offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Ahmed entered a guilty plea and was convicted of a single offence of causing unnecessary suffering to the ram under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for public protection said “I would like to congratulate our Trading Standards Animal Health Team for bringing this offender to justice. This animal clearly suffered a horrific death at the hand of this person and his accomplices.”
“Our Trading Standards team work to ensure the strict welfare standards for farm animals are followed at all times.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work. Ordered to pay the full prosecution costs of £1,700 and an £85 victim surcharge.
#TheList David Richard Grant, born 1973, of 212 Smedley Street, Matlock DE4 3JD – kept malnourished and lame sheep in appalling conditions.
David Grant pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to sheep at a smallholding in Bakewell, Derbyshire Dales.
Investigating Police Constable Karl Webster said: “When visiting Grant’s smallholding in Bakewell on February 26 police and trading standards officers found conditions to be woefully substandard with far too many animals being kept for the facilities available.
“A flock of over 40 sheep were housed in a small shed with contaminated bedding which had led to high instances of lameness due to foot-rot.
“Others were very thin and suffering the effects of malnourishment.
“The attending vet took the decision that four of the sheep needed to be put down to end their suffering. Many more were in need of medical treatment.
“Other animals at the location were also found to be living in substandard conditions.”
The court heard how Grant failed to provide suitable living conditions, treatment and veterinary care for the animals resulting in pain and suffering.
PC Webster added: “The conviction came as a result of an investigation by our Rural Crime Team and Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards department which began in February.
“The foundations of the case lay with members of the local community alerting the Hillside Animal Sanctuary about the conditions at the smallholding. Fears for future of Barrow Hill’s historic church and ‘architectural gem’
“This was followed by some excellent work by their operatives to obtain evidence of the conditions which was later passed to the police.”
Hillside Animal Sanctuary stated that they received reports that Grant was keeping animals in terrible conditions. A sanctuary spokesman said that an investigator visited and filmed the terribly neglected and many lame sheep and the findings were reported to the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team who joined forces with Derbyshire Trading Standards to bring charges against David Grant.
A Hillside Animal Sanctuary said: “We were relieved to find out that David Grant was successfully convicted and received a lifetime ban from keeping farm animals and a suspended prison sentence.”
Sentencing: ten weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with 180 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs. Banned from owning or keeping livestock for ten years.
#TheList farmer Clive Lockton, born c. 1958, of New Road Farm, Todenham, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9PN – kept his livestock and poultry in terrible conditions
Lockton pleaded guilty to 17 animal welfare offences including causing unnecessary suffering to a female pig as well as failing to ensure animal welfare and failing to properly inform the authorities of a death of a cow on the farm.
The conditions in which the farmer kept his livestock and poultry were so unsuitable and dangerous that one pig was injured by a makeshift shelter which collapsed on it. The animal had to be shot by a vet to relieve its suffering when animal welfare inspectors visited.
He also pleaded guilty to failing to ear mark cattle and failing to inform the authorities of animal movements off his farm.
The court heard how Trading Standards officer Claire Miers and vet Marie Ipas both visited Lockton’s farm on June 7th last year and found 75 pigs, seven sheep and hundreds of chickens living in a ‘terrible conditions’ with poor, inadequate bedding and feed and water.
Prosecuting Bonnie Styles said there was no fresh water or bedding for the animals and that shelters constructed by Lockton had collapsed, injuring a sow.
The pig had a massive abscess on its leg and had suffered broken ribs when the wall fell on it. It was in such a poor state a vet had to be called immediately to shoot the animal to put it out of its misery.
The court heard how Miss Miers had previously visited the farm and helped Lockton apply for planning permission to build a new shed for the pigs but when she later returned the shed was being used to house cattle.
“At one end of the shed there was an area which was used for feeding. There were pallets and a trough all tied together with string and there were planks on the floor with nails sticking out of them which the cattle could injure themselves on,” said Miss Styles.
“In the feeding area the mud was so deep the cattle couldn’t walk and there was metal corrugated panels sticking out of the ground.
“There was an old bath used for feeding which was in a filfthy condition and in a water container there was a dead bird which Mr Lockton said he was going to remove later.
“There were holes in the floor big enough for a pig to fall into.”
The court heard there was also a pile of out of date food which the chickens and pigs had access to.
“There was Cumberland sausages, chicken and bacon sandwiches and flame grilled chicken which the free roaming pigs and hens had access to,” said Miss Styles.
The inspectors also saw three calves without ear tags which are required by law because of animal health and movement regulations.
They also found a sow in pain suffering.
“The pig was in a very poor condition and had what appeared to be an open wound on its legs. It was hobbling and its jaw was dislocated,” said Miss Styles.
Manure and dirt had built up in the water containers.
“The pig pens were in a very poor state with no dry area and empty food buckets,” said Miss Styles.
Sentencing: rehabilitation order to carry out 15 days’ community service over 12 months. Total of £485 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping cattle and pigs for a period of five years, with stipulation that this cannot be appealed for a period of two years.
#TheList livestock centre foreman Christopher John Raw, born c. 1978, of Gisburn Road, Clitheroe BB7 – allowed lamb with broken back to suffer for 29 hours at Gisburn auction mart
Raw, a yard foreman with Gisburn Auction Mart, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Blackburn magistrates said the lamb was described as “shivering, trembling and fitting” after Raw had been moved it to an isolated shippon.
But it was not until the following day when another member of staff persuaded the manager to come and look at the animal that it was shot to put it out of its misery.
Nick McNamara, prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, said the incident happened at Gisburn Auction Mart in December 2016. The lamb had been trapped in a gate as it was being penned on a Saturday.
“It was destroyed on the Sunday which means it went untreated for 29 hours,” said Mr McNamara. “We say this was a prolonged period of suffering for an animal. We say a vet should have been arranged immediately or the animal should have been put out of its misery immediately.”
Mr McNamara said a post-mortem examination showed the lamb’s spinal cord had been completely fractured and the animal would have been in pain right up to the moment it was destroyed.
Mr McNamara said it was accepted Raw had told Thomas Robinson, the chairman of the directors, and another director. Robinson had told him to move the animal to a quiet place and monitor it.
“Neither of the directors went to examine the animal,” said Mr McNamara.
Paul Huxley, defending, said his client had sought assistance and advice from Robinson, of Catlow Farm, Clitheroe, who faced a similar charge but has pleaded not guilty (no update on his case found).
“He sought that assistance from his boss,” said Mr Huxley. “He raised concerns, as he had been told to do, and Mr Robinson said bed it down, give it food and water and lets see how it goes. He did exactly that, rightly or wrongly.”
Mr Huxley said his client didn’t want to push all the blame onto the company and accepted he should have used his initiative more when he checked on the animal and saw it hadn’t moved.
“Not for a second did he want that animal lying there in pain,” said Mr Huxley. “He was well intentioned but incompetent and bitterly regrets that day.”
Sentencing: three-month curfew; total of £1,085 costs and charges.
#TheList former company director William G Woodward, born 18/01/1986, of Redhouse Farm, Catesby, Daventry NN11 6LW and employees Artur Lewandowski, born c. 1984, of Ribble Drive, Darlington DL1, Kabeer Hussain, born c. 1964, of 58 Brantwood Road, Bradford BD9 6QA, and Kazam Hussain, born c. 1973, of 179 Haworth Road, Bradford BD9 6NT – caused suffering to sheep as they were killed
Abattoir boss William Woodward and slaughtermen Artur Lewandowski, Kabeer Hussain and Kazam Hussain admitted causing unnecessary suffering to animals after secret footage of halal killing showed workers HACKING and SAWING at sheep’s throats. The secret filming by Animal Aid also showed sheep being kicked in the head and hurled into metal walls.
The footage was passed on to the Food Standards Agency.
Howard Shaw, prosecuting for the CPS on behalf of Defra, told the court the footage revealed, “a large number of sheep were caused to suffer unnecessarily”.
Under the halal code, animals are supposed to be killed quickly, with a single sweep of a surgically-sharp knife. They should not see the knife before they are slaughtered, or witness the death of other animals.
But the Animal Aid video revealed how many of those practices were being flouted.
Its secretly installed spy cameras showed staff taunting the animals, waving knives in front of them, smacking them on the head and shouting at them.
The halal code also states that animals be allowed to lose consciousness for 30 seconds before being moved on to the next stage of slaughter in a bid to minimise suffering.
But footage showed slaughtermen Kazam Hussain and Kabir Hussain waiting between one and 11 seconds before the animals were sent on to be strung up by their back legs on the processing line, still conscious.
Animal Aid footage played to the court showed at one point Kazam and Kabir dancing and singing as they killed the sheep.
The footage also showed conveyor belt operator, Artur Lewandowski picking a sheep up by its fleece at the neck and at one point pulling his fist back as if to punch a sheep which was resisting, as it was sent towards the area where they were killed.
Mr Shaw told the court: “There’s one incident where the sheep is struggling. He draws back his fist in a punching motion but doesn’t actually punch the sheep.
“He almost throws the animal on to the conveyor belt by its fleece.”
The court heard that the two slaughtermen were professionally qualified and licensed and killed the sheep in accordance with regulations on halal slaughter when watched by the on-site vet, Pedro Benitez.
But Mr Benitez had witnessed animals being given less than 20 seconds to lose consciousness the previous year on the abattoir’s CCTV system and raised his concerns with director William Woodward.
Mr Woodward’s response was to accuse him of “spying” and lodge a complaint against Mr Benitez with the Food Standards Agency. He also refused to allow him further access to the room where the CCTV monitor was situated.
The undercover footage by Animal Aid provoked a national uproar, sparking protests outside the premises and condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain.
The Government has now introduced legislation that makes CCTV mandatory in slaughterhouses.
In sentencing, District Judge Marie Mallon told former director Woodward: “It was your business. The suffering was extreme, and it wasn’t an isolated incident.”
Sentencing: William Woodward – 20-week suspended prison sentence; ordered to pay £5,080 towards prosecution costs.
Artur Lewandowski – 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay costs of £160.
#TheList David Holmes, born 13/05/1956, of Fairdale, Hen Holme Lane, Silsden, Keighley BD20 0LX – repeated cruelty towards farm animals despite previous bans
Holmes continually ignored court orders which have banned him from owning animals, the court heard.
The prosecution was brought by Bradford Council following his breach of the order on February 17, 2011.
The offence came to light when he was seen muck-spreading on his land in Silsden by a Council environmental health officer.
Holmes denied the offence and the case went to trial, with District Judge, Susan Bouch, finding in the Council’s favour.
Sentencing was remitted to magistrates in March 2011, who as well as sending Holmes to prison, also issued a new disqualification under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which has greater powers.
It means that he cannot keep or own any animals and he cannot participate in any schemes that are involved with animals for the next ten years.
Neither can he apply for appeal against the ban for the next five years.
Holmes already has two previous disqualification bans after prosecutions brought by Bradford Council and the RSPCA but he has continued to breach those bans, the District Judge was told during the trial.
After the case, Jonathan Balsham, the Council’s consultant solicitor, said: “While Holmes keeps on breaching the laws relating to animals, we will continue to prosecute him.
“He has shown no regard for animal welfare or for the court orders and we are pleased that the court has taken a serious view of these matters and has sentenced him accordingly.”
Holmes was imprisoned for six months and banned for life from keeping animals in 1999. He already had two court fines, for cruelty to a ewe and a ram, when he was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to cattle.
In November 2009 he was caught presenting cattle at Skipton auction mart in Gargrave Road, Skipton and sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work and had to pay £4,548 in costs.
He went on to notch up further convictions for repeatedly flouting the ban, cruelty to sheep and cattle and illegally trying to move sheep to France.
His final conviction came in 2011 when he was jailed for six months and received a fourth lifetime ban for causing unnecessary suffering to livestock.
Sentencing: jailed for six months and a further lifetime ban on keeping animals was issued.